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Corralled on two floors of the Sheraton Club des Pins Resort, a hotel about a 40-minute drive from Algiers, representatives of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had little to do except talk to each other.Boutarfa himself checked into one of the hotel's suites so he could mediate between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. After two days, he declared victory – OPEC agreed Wednesday on the outlines of its first production cut in eight years. Saudi Arabia and Iran remained far apart.Iran argued that Saudi Arabia should cut its output back below 10 million barrels a day.Riyadh wanted Tehran to freeze at a level of 3.6 million barrels per day, while Iran insisted on production of at least 4.2 million barrels.As recently as a month ago, the difference between Saudi Arabia and Iran was still roughly 1 million barrels a day, about the same output of fellow OPEC member Algeria.Five hours later, OPEC emerged with a deal: a production cut that set a target of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, a little below current output.
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